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William Kimberley Palmer scrapbook

 Collection — Volume: V149
Identifier: V149

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a scrapbook compiled by William Kimberley Palmer containing autographed letters and other documents ranging from 1879 to 1920. Palmer collected signatures from artists, authors, clergyman, congressman, governors, military leaders, presidents, publishers, senators, university presidents, vice presidents other notable persons. Some items of interest in the collection include a handwritten letter from Nikola Tesla, a caricature by Thomas Nast, a small sketch by J. Wells Champney, notes for a sermon written by Henry Ward Beecher, a sketch of Palmer by artist Francis Lathrop, a letter from Henry Morton Stanley (the explorer who found David Livingstone), letters from Booker T. Washington, Mary Murray Washington and Robert R. Moton on Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute letterheads, John Philip Sousa’s signature with musical notes for “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” and Samuel Francis Smith's signature and handwritten copy of the first stanza of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”, the song he wrote and originally titled “America” in 1832, that he sent to Palmer in 1895.

Other signatures include those of Katherine Lee Bates, George Washington Cable, Joseph Chamberlain, George M. Cohan, Calvin Coolidge, Frank Damrosch, Mary Mapes Dodge, Edward E. Hale, Benjamin Harrison, John M. Hay, Julia Ward Howe, John J. Ingalls, Tudor Jenks, Robert Underwood Johnson, Douglas MacArthur, William McKinley, Nelson A. Miles, D. L. Moody, J. P. Morgan, John Pershing, William C. Redfield, Whitelaw Reid, Jacob Riis, Theodore Roosevelt, Charles M. Schwab, John Sherman, Charles Dwight Sigsbee, Joshua Slocum, William H. Taft, James Tissot, Lew Wallace, Lilian Whiting, Kate Douglas Wiggin, and many others.

The collection also includes copies of three of Palmer’s poems: “John Harvard” (September 1936), “Immortal Lucretia Mott” (August 1937), and “Youth” (January 1938).


  • 1879-1920, 1936-1938

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

William Kimberley Palmer was born on March 19, 1856 in Crawfordsville, Indiana to William and Clara Palmer. In 1865, the family moved to Chicopee, Massachussetts and following his graduation from local high school in 1872, William moved to New York City and secured a clerical position with Charles Scribner's Sons. He rose to the position of cashier before failing health required him to leave the firm and move to Kansas. He married Louise A. Lesuere on June 16, 1886 and they had four children. By the early 1890s, he had moved back to New York and resumed his work at Scribner's. Besides his work with the publishing company, he was also an author and poet and was active in may civic and patriotic societies. He passed away at the age of 82 on August 1, 1938.


Information within collection. "William K. Palmer." 1900 United States Federal Census. Accessed August 19, 2019. "William K. Palmer." Illinois, Compiled Marriages, 1851-1900. Accessed August 19, 2019. "William Kimberley Palmer." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed August 19, 2019.


0.5 Cubic Feet (1 volume)

Language of Materials



This collection includes one scrapbook.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from William K. Palmer on 1922/11/22 and 1938/04/04.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2019/08/20 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2019/08/20 by Laura Eliason.
William Kimberley Palmer scrapbook
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.